Nutrition Month; Season with lead, phthalates and a pinch of salmonella…

March is Nutrition Month in Canada, and the theme is “Celebrate Food, from Field to Table”. The Vancouver Island Health Authority’s suggestions for ways to celebrate include:

  • Plant a garden in your backyard, a container garden on your balcony, or herbs on your windowsill.
  • Get children involved in preparing food and eat family meals often. When kids take part in meals, they are more likely to make healthier choices.
  • Enjoy fresh food in season. Shop at local farmers markets and farm gates. Freeze or preserve local fruits and vegetables to eat a greater variety throughout the year.

Tips for supporting your community to grow a local food system:

  • Start, support or get involved with a local community garden project to grow food close to where you live.
  • Join a community kitchen group to cook and enjoy meals with friends.
  • Work with your local school board to create ways to showcase local foods either in the classroom, school cafeteria or schoolyard.
  • Encourage your grocery store to carry more local foods.

Meanwhile. as people have been discovering with the recall of North American food products containing Hydrolyzed Vegetable Proteins, a little can mean a lot to food safety. Time magazine’s recent article about the lead content of Indian spices is another argument for buying or using local – including the seasonings in your foods. Many spices and herbs are sold in organic versions which, of course, cost more – but what we’re learning nowadays about the dangers of even tiny amounts of toxins in our foods show why it can sometimes be critical to pay more for less.

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